New York’s Madison Square Garden has been the epicentre of boxing and it was another memorable evening, as Anthony Joshua made his debut on US soil. He was fighting the seasoned Andy Ruiz Jr, with his IBF, WBO and WBA World titles on the line. This was expected to be a dominant performance from Joshua to set up the blockbuster clash with Deontay Wilder, in which he was sent off as the general 1/25 favourites at bet-wager.com. However, it was not to be as Joshua suffered his first professional loss and joined the likes of Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson as dominant champions to suffer shock loses.
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This certainly has to go down as one of the biggest shocks in the history of the sport, as Joshua had been so dominant against so many high calibre opponents. The fight was finished in the seventh round, as the referee called the contest off, as Joshua suffered his first loss. He had also been floored four times prior to the stoppage, which shows how dominant a performance this was from Ruiz.
The fight had started as expected as Joshua floored Ruiz in the third round with a left hook. Considering how ruthless Joshua usually is in this situation, many would of expected him to finish Ruiz shortly after this. However, he ran in and got caught himself, which resulted in him hitting the canvas and he clearly never recovered from this. Joshua again was floored in this round as Ruiz began to get the upper hand in the contest.
There was an electric buzz inside the arena and most were shocked with the result as Ruiz derailed Joshua’s career. Considering his appearance in comparison to Joshua’s athletic physique, no one believed he would have been able to beat the former Olympic Gold medallist. In the process he took his own career to the next level, as Ruiz extended his professional record to 33 wins and 1 loss from 34 bouts. He also became the first fighter of Mexican descent to become World heavyweight champion.
Ruiz should really not have been such an underdog as he had an incredible amateur background with a 105-5 record, which included him winning two Mexican Junior Olympic Gold medals. This victory has also now seen him ranked as the World’s best active heavyweight by BoxRec.
So what is next? There was a rematch clause in place, so Joshua will get his chance to immediately win his belts back, with the fight expected to take place at the end of the year. Joshua has been made the 1/3 favourite to win the rematch, with Ruiz 9/4 to again pick up the victory. The fight will also take place back in the UK, so there will be no excuses for Joshua in what is simply a must win fight for him.